Take a Joke America (Live)
Rare & Hard-To-Find Audio CDs (series)
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sku: ZHUS 47674
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- Released: May 2, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Warner Bros / WEA
- 2.Nobody Can Take A Joke Anymore
- 3.Two Kinds Of Mexicans
- 5.President Was Impeached
- 6.Take A Joke America
Solo performer: Carlos Mencia (spoken vocals).
Recorded at The Comedy Works, Denver, Colorado.
Like many contemporary comedians, Carlos Mencia has a problem with the era of political correctness that dissuades people from making ethnic jokes. "When I was a kid, it was 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,'" he recalls on his first album, Take a Joke America. "Now it's 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may devastate my inner child forever.'" In a sense, this new, seemingly more enlightened form of social repression is a godsend to comedians like Mencia, who revel in violating it by emphasizing ethnic differences, starting, for him, with his own Hispanic heritage. If this would seem to give his humor a right-wing tinge, Mencia only emphasizes it by casting himself as a patriot. As he makes fun of whites, blacks, Asians, the Irish, women, and homosexuals, without leaving out his own ethnic group, he suggests that people only take umbrage against the insults because America is a free country where they don't realize how badly others are treated around the world. You can't quite call the result a celebration of American diversity, even though it has a cockeyed logic to it. A similarly surprising take on current national attitudes is the comedian's contention, expressed in "President Was Impeached," that the country's chief executive ought to be kept sexually satisfied in the national interest. Listeners should be prepared to hear Mencia's views expressed forcefully -- he seems to be shouting about half the time -- and in blunt language. Rarely do more than a few seconds go by before one or more of the most common expletives is being employed as an intensifier, that is, when not substituting for a noun or verb. ~ William Ruhlmann
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